Brain Machine Interfaces

Brain Machine Interfaces

A report published by Relecura, Inc. — 29 March 2018

This report details the manner in which brain-machine interfaces (BMI) or brain-computer interfaces (BCI) are starting to move out of the laboratory and into real-world applications.

A brain-machine interface is a device that translates brain signals into commands capable of controlling external software or hardware. These interfaces can also translate external commands into neuronal information.

The report differentiates between three main types of brain-machine interfaces: invasive, partially invasive, and non-invasive.

  • Invasive BMIs are implanted directly into the grey matter of the brain or in direct contact with the nervous system. They produce the highest quality signals, but are prone to scar-tissue build-up, which causes the signal to become weak or even non-existent.
  • Partially invasive BMI devices are implanted inside the skull but outside the brain rather than within the grey matter. They produce better resolution signals than non-invasive BMIs and have a lower risk of forming scar-tissue in the brain.
  • Non-invasive BMI devices are easy to wear and do not require implantation. They have relatively poor spatial resolution and cannot effectively use higher-frequency signals.

Brain-machine interfaces are finding application in fields such as medical, communication and control, smart home control, and entertainment and gaming.

The global brain-computer interface market size was valued at USD 806.8 million in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 1.72 billion in 2022.

The Relecura report provides insights into the patents addressing the technologies and
applications related to brain-machine interfaces. The key technologies identified in the report include, in order of magnitude, digital data processing, therapeutic devices, diagnosis and surgery, and acoustic transducers being the most prevalent technologies and drug delivery and image data processing making small appearances.

With acknowledgement to Relecura, Inc. — A copy of the full report is available here.

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